Strict security guidelines have been issued for connected cars in the UK that will help to protect them from hacking attempts.
Security guidelines issued by the UK government aim to ease growing concerns about connected cars being hacked. The idea of hacking a car isn’t a new one, with security researchers around the world discovering new vulnerabilities all the time from the ability to flash lights and control air conditioning, to more dangerous abilities like being able to apply the brakes or gain access to the vehicle and start it remotely.
Fortunately, the majority of these issues have been patched out of consumer vehicles thanks to over-the-air software updates, but the popularity of connected cars are rising, and therefore so is the interest of hackers who want to cause mischief or mayhem.
One part of the new guidelines states that all cars must be kept updated during their lifespans. This means that you will continue to receive software and security updates for your car, even if it’s an obsolete model. This will ensure that your older car is just as secure as brand new models.
Some main points from the governmental guidance include the need for manufacturers to assess potential risks, especially with third-party contractors, personal data and data storage must be secure, and the vehicle or systems should be able to withstand attacks and continue to function. Along with other, more technical, guidelines the government hopes that it can create a generic rulebook of sorts for self-driving technology. This would then allow them to create a new framework for self-driving car insurance, which finally answers the question of who is to blame if a self-driving car is in an accident.
Ultimately, the government guidelines are simply that – guidelines. Carmakers don’t necessarily have to agree to the advice offered by the government, but it’s expected that manufacturers will use government – that is to say, official – recommendations as a starting point for building their own in-house rulebooks for their autonomous and networked cars.
It’s certainly nice to see the UK government embracing the idea of self-driving and connected cars with some models already on sale with the technology on board.